Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

‘The Very Fact That People Are Willing to Work for Free at the Beginning of Their Career Erodes the Need for People in Those Cushy Jobs at the End of the Career’

with one comment

First, a strike has been called by legitimate unions. You might disagree with tactics, or even, as Yglesias claims, think that it’s counterproductive to the interests of the unpaid bloggers, but scabbing a picket line (even a virtual one) is a serious deal. Unless you have damn good reasons, you should always trust the workers who have called a strike. I don’t see how anyone can call themselves on the Left if they proudly cross a picket line.* And its one thing to do that in private, or because you were unaware of the picket line. Its another to publically advocate scabbing while taking money and publically representing a (supposedly) progressive organization like the Center for American Progress.

Second, It’s easy to overthink the complexity of an issue like this. Stepping back it is, like every other strike, a matter of class loyalties. Do you side with unpaid information-age workers, or AOL, one of the biggest information conglomerates in the world? There is no way that poorly paid information workers will ever get a fair deal unless they organize and fight. You either side with them (like Erik Loomis does) or you side with the faceless multinational corporation (like Yglesias does, whether he intends to our not). There’s no neutral ground in cyberspace.

Wiz at Ph.D. Octopus, building off a pair of widely circulated posts from Eric Loomis, calls out Matt Yglesias and the progressive blogosphere more generally for failing to support information laborers during the union-called HuffPo strike. Thanks to the incomparable @zunguzungu for the pointer.

One Response

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  1. Astute readers will notice that I myself linked to the HuffPo in the post immediately preceding this one. I confess! In my defense, it’s the link @cocoblalock gave me to work with, and no one else had the story yet. I did a search, found nothing, and surrendered.

    gerrycanavan

    June 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm


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